The conundrum of atheism

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture based on his ...

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture based on his book "The God Delusion." Image via Wikipedia

I got to thinking while driving last night about atheists, atheism and why they tend to get so animated about nothing.

After all, God doesn’t exist, right?

For that matter, neither do Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but utter the name “Jesus Christ” or put up a nativity scene that merely depicts a mythical fairy tale — remember, God doesn’t exist: that’s the premise — then all of Hell unleashes a torrent of attorneys and rabid activists foaming and fuming in front of the television cameras and before any judge who supports their cause.

Could it be that they really do realize that God exists and that their futile ramblings are in vain? Talk about the quintessential definition of utter deception!

Or, can it all simply be explained in Ephesians 6? And why, if these same folks cling to their science texts and their fondness for Richard Dawkins, are they completely hypocritical when it comes to Dawkins’ stated mission to support scientific education and critical thinking?

This caused me to joke with a friend on facebook about my belief that gravity doesn’t exist. You can’t see it, therefore you can’t prove it. So what if I jump off a building and fall towards the ground; that proves nothing. Even if I do it again and again with the same results, it still doesn’t prove gravity because you can’t see gravity. You might see its results, but you don’t see gravity itself. So therefore if gravity doesn’t exist all then we can conclude that we don’t have to worry about our weight, right?

While the Bible is a fairy tale to atheists, Romans 1:20 is pretty clear if you apply some critical thinking and even some scientific education, as Dawkins purports to support and defend. It says: “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

Pretty simple eh? But it still begs the question: If the Bible is a fairy tale and God a myth, why get so worked up about it. You’re going to die; I’m going to die; we’re all going to ultimately die. What’s the big deal?

Then I started to laugh about the comments I read from an avowed atheist over the issue of morals. Where do morals come from, I asked. Do we originate them as human beings or did they spring forth along with the life forms that magically evolved from the primordial soup that Dawkins and Darwin like to discuss? And who’s morals are we talking about? Are morals “absolute” or are they somehow transient and subjective, open to interpretation? If they’re absolute then they need a foundation or basis. If they’re simply subjective, as the moral relativist suggests, then why do we prosecute the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl? Someone must have thought that the idea of gang rape was okay under their moral code! Right?

If my belief in God so offends you because you simply don’t believe in God, why not let me live in my fantasy world? After all, I’m not bothering you. Again, we don’t mock our children for their belief in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. In fact, we oftentimes promote it, knowing full well that they are as real as government ethics or intelligence. Even if you’re right, we’re both going to wind up as worm food someday and it’s not going to matter. But, if I’m right, then it’s going to be very sobering for you to come face-to-face with your deception and realize that you have no more opportunities to change your mind and see the light.

18 thoughts on “The conundrum of atheism

  1. Very well said. I need to share this with my Atheist friend. You are right … why should it bother him that I read my book of, what he calls, “lies and un-truths” Let me live my so called fairy tale life and he can live his fairy tale that the US is under great leadership with the current president. (Oops … don’t go there, huh!)

  2. No-one kills people in the name of Santa Claus, or tells everyone else they can’t spend their life with the person they love, just because they are of the same gender.

    How patronising to think we really think God exists but are pretending. To what end? Imagine if I used that argument on you and said you don’t really believe, but just pretend you do.

    As for morals. They didnt “magically evolve”, they evolved. You, however, believe they magically appeared from God.

    So called militant atheists are harmless. Militant theists are not. See this cartoon. to make it clear what I mean.

    • Since you broght it up, maybe the cartoon you linked to gives us some common ground to start with. Can we agree that militant Islam, as suggested in the cartoon, is just as dangerous to atheists as they are to Christians and anyone who doesn’t bow to Islam?
      If we start there maybe we’ll have some common ground from which to try to save America, even if we do agree on the existence of God.

  3. The reason isn’t, at least in my opinion, offense. The reason is because our voice is not heard. Atheists want our leaders to stop making decisions based on Fairy Tales. I have never heard a president say he bases his political decisions based on the opinion of Mother Goose. Most of the New Testaments were written in the 1st century. Have we not come a long way since the 1st century? Why must we try to hold our nation in the past? It is time to move forward. What can a government do when it bases it’s policy on secular logic? I would recommend looking into a study done that included the “Successful Societies Scale”.

    BTW… Romans 1:20 was talking about Idolaters and was actually contradicted in Acts 17:22-31. Paul thought there was no excuse for Idolatry and they are not Justified. Acts which is about Paul teaches that he said God Forgives them and overlooks their Idolatry. I suggest learning the bible from a Seminary scholar. A good book is Jesus Interrupted.

    • Your voice is not heard? That’s funny!
      Have you paid attention to the attempts by Christians to put up nativity scenes around Christmastime, or to post the 10 Commandments in court houses? Your voice is being heard very well: these displays continue to be banned, even though polls point out that a majority of Americans profess some sort of faith in God. I’m not in favor of a theocratic form of government, but I’ll point you to the preambles to the various state constitutions and their recognition of where their freedoms came from.
      I guess I can’t convince you that the Bible does not contradict itself, a miracle in and of itself given the fact it was written over a period of 2,000 years, during times of war and times of peace, by kings, shepherds, tax collectors, fishermen and others. The fact that such a book could so cohesively be written to point in the same direction is itself miraculous.

      • No one is against putting up nativity scenes except in public buildings or on publicly owned land.

        I bet you would protest against some muslim scene being put up outside a courthouse!

        America is a secular state (Unlike here in the UK which is still, unfortunately, a theocracy, technically speaking). Secular states do not promote any one religion over another.

      • You know what is funny… If you went to a seminary school to learn the bible, you would be taught the discrepancies in the bible pretty much day 1. They are there and they should be there. You should not read the 4 gospels for example and think they are all telling the same story and the same point. They are 4 different unknown authors who all interpreted things differently. You are doing them a disservice to try and mash them all together to make one single Gospel. You are missing the point. There are discrepancies. They are there for a reason. You should read them as such.

        BTW… I am not a big fan of Dawkins. I don’t even like his books that much. I don’t like that people associate all Atheists with him. He is not my spokes person.

      • I guess my point on the discrepancies is that the ones that seem to exist do not contradict central tenets of Christianity, such as the deity of Christ.
        As for the gospels, we do in fact know the authors because they’re named for the authors. None of their perspectives contradict these central tenets of Christianity.
        As for theocracies, the UK is likely closer to one than the USA, though both are on a dangerous path to Sharia Law. Here in America we seem to be genuflecting to the Muslims who want to build mosques, which we know are simply training grounds for radical Islam and their goal of Sharia Law where they establish themselves.

  4. “If my belief in God so offends you because you simply don’t believe in God, why not let me live in my fantasy world?”

    You’re welcome to do so.

    But when the government starts enacting laws or legislating based on your religious beliefs is where I have the problem. If you support that, then I have a problem with you. What you do in your own home and your own life…I disagree with and will debate you about, but would never do so against your will and would never want to force you to stop believing what you believe.

    • If anything, our government has bent over backwards to avoid the kind of theocracy you seem to fear. Truth be known, I really don’t favor a theocratic form of government either. In fact, that’s the primary reason the colonists left England for the New World a few centuries ago.
      Did you know that Christianity is the force that ended slavery in America and is responsible for fostering democratically elected governments where they once did not exist?

      • Yes, I see how they bend over backwards to avoid theocracy when they keep trying to teach Christian creationism in public schools, insist that the motto be In God We Trust and want to post their ten commandments everywhere.

        Christianity is just as guilty of inspiring slavery as it is known for ending it. The book that Christians use seems overwhelmingly pro-slavery.

      • Creationism taught in public schools? I was a substitute teacher for a couple years in California. It is simply NOT taught at any level. Science classes avoid the topic like the plague!
        What’s wrong with the 10 Commandments? Take the religious aspects out of it for a moment, the “rules” to not kill, not steal and not lie are… well… imbedded in the morals of a just and civil society. I don’t know about you, but I like living in a just and civil society.

  5. “… Take the religious aspects out of it for a moment … ”

    Yep, and they still work. So why have the religious aspect at all.

    Did people not know it was wrong to kill and steal befor God handed down the commandments?

  6. “I was a substitute teacher for a couple years in California. It is simply NOT taught at any level. Science classes avoid the topic like the plague!”

    Well, they do for a few years in California anyway.

    I think you’ll admit that your limited experience is not all encompassing in a country as large as ours.

    “Take the religious aspects out of it for a moment, the “rules” to not kill, not steal and not lie are… well”

    Then by all means, put up the 3 commandments. And be sure to notate that they aren’t original to Christianity or Judaism. I’d be fine with that.

    The other 7 commandments are, for various reasons and to various degrees, rubbish.

  7. Pingback: The atheistic approach, by Yilmaz Alimoglu | Yilmaz Alimoglu

  8. You know, I used to be as glib about the actual positions of atheists back when I was a believer.

    The reason that atheists are concerned about government displays of religion is that while we know that your faiths are myths, we are worried about people who are undecided or uninformed about reality and thus those people maybe sucked into faith without having had a fair chance to truly decide for themselves. There are far too many people who have a belief that they never really chose.

    In the same way that you as a conservative Republican are concerned about liberal media bias, even though you (correctly) believe that socialism is an erroneous belief, atheists are worried about people we believe to be led astray perpetuating their incorrect viewpoints through the so-called “band-wagon effect.”

    • Really? Atheists are driven by a sincere concern about people who might be undecided about their own faith? That’s why you oppose displays that perpetuate our “myths.”
      You mention that you were once a “believer.” What happened to change your mind?

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